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Marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing
effort. The brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room. It’s what
sticks in your mind that is associated with a product, service, or organization, whether or not,
at that particular moment, you bought or did not buy.
The brand is ultimately what determines if you will become a loyal customer or not. The
marketing may convince you to buy a particular Toyota, and maybe it’s the first foreign car
you ever owned, but it is the brand that will determine if you will only buy Toyotas for the
rest of your life.
The brand is built from many things. Very important among these things is the lived
experience of the brand. Did that car deliver on its brand promise of reliability? Did the
maker continue to uphold the quality standards that made them what they are? That is the
fundamental difference, marketing has a life cycle but branding doesn’t. An understanding of
this is required when preparing marketing and branding communications to ensure
effectiveness and conversions.
This works the same way for all types of businesses and organizations. All organizations
must sell (including nonprofits). How they sell may differ, and everyone in an organization
is, with their every action, either constructing or deconstructing the brand. Every thought,
every action, every policy, every ad, every marketing promotion has the effect of either
inspiring or deterring brand loyalty in whomever is exposed to it. All of this affects sales.
And so in essence marketing communications are geared towards seeking out and activating
new buyers while branding communications aim to make the converted customers loyal to
the brand essence
You make a promise to customers and colleagues with everything you do and, to be
successful, you must deliver on that promise every single time. The idea that a brand is a
badge, a name or a colour is just a tiny fraction of what a brand actually is.
Your brand is “only everything” within your company. As a result, it’s imperative to define
what it stands for. You have to identify your target audience and what they want, say why
you are better than your competitors and come up with a short statement that describes your
brand’s purpose.
Some businesses know what they are from day one and as long as they stay small and keep
the same employees, then they may not need to repeat this exercise. However, for most firms,
things change – sales drop, people leave or a competitor threatens your space. Then what do
you do? If you define what your brand stands for then it becomes easier to make decisions –
who you should hire, what products to sell, how your communications should sound and even
what your office environment should look like.
However, in marketing, you are making a promise to your would be customers that your
product will satisfactorily meet their needs. This is a very important consideration for the
customer as it provides a basic motivation to purchase your product or engage your services.